One of Martha Stewart's favorites, creme brulee's seductive secret lies is in the contrast between the brittle caramelized topping and the smooth, creamy custard beneath. French for "burnt cream," creme brulee is best served immediately after caramelizing its sweet, sugary surface.
If pumpkin pie married caramel custard, their offspring would look like this pumpkin flan. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn. (c)2009, Lucinda Scala Quinn. Mikkel Vang, photographer. Used by permission of Artisan Books, artisanbooks.com.